Honey packaging hits the sweet-spot
New honey packaging hits the green sweet-spot
June 6, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff
With packaging sustainability still evolving from being merely a catchy buzzword to a widely embraced ideal, the concept is clearly catching on in the time-tested beekeeping industry, with French-based honey producer Famille Michaud Apiculteurs recently generating a lot of buzz with its new lightweight, recycled plastic packaging that will dramatically cut the apiary’s overall environmental footprint in coming months.
Jointly developed by the Austrian-based Greiner Packaging International and French plastics processor Roskoplast S.A., the new containers—weighing only 28 grams each—are produced from locally-sourced, reshredded loose leftover foil cuttings, normally just discarded as waste, that are processed into sturdy, food-grade PET (polyethylene terephthalate) foils with at least 90-percent recycled content. (See Images)
Prior to turning to recycled PET, the honey producer used packaging produced from raw materials shipped in from as far as Asia, which contributed to a significant environmental footprint for the Michaud Apiculteurs products.
But with the three companies being located literally within 15 kilometers of each other, the estimated sustainability gains enabled by the new, locally-produced recycled packaging were impressive enough to earn each enterprise a second prize in the national Prix Entreprises & Environment 2010 awards competition of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
Some of the more notable specific sustainability gains, as calculated by French engineering consultants APESA, include:
• Seventy-percent reduction in annual CO2 emissions, approximately 65 tons;
• Eighty-percent reduction in oil consumption to manufacture the packaging;
• Sixty-seven percent cut in electricity consumption and a 27-percent reduction in water usage.